The notes from “The Story of Jasmine” continue:
Watching her form disappear in the distance, Glynn does not allow himself to feel remorse at this abrupt parting. He conceals the booty in his pack and enters the inn. Several hours later finds him laughing and enjoying the company of many people — dwarves and men alike. Glynn makes the acquaintance of a red-haired man who informs him that Oxted has had some unusual visitors.
“Soldiers from the south,” he says, “looking for a maiden I’m told.” After another swallow, the stranger continues, “Though only God knows what she’d be doing on the white mountain. People here seem to be scared of it.”
“Fool’s Hope?” Glynn looks up from his drink, “What did you say?”
“There’s an old temple that rests in the seat of the Great White Throne and these soldiers expect to find a maiden hiding there. But they’ve also looked all over Oxted asking if anyone has seen her. This maiden seems to be of particular interest to their leader, one Bardulf-Thaatur. Have you heard of him?”
Glynn scratches his nose in thought, “I heard rumors about an ambitious man whose been gaining power and provinces surrounding the country of UR. Through magic and a network of spies he learns the weaknesses of the ruling families whose lands he wants to acquire. He’s managed to conquer much territory from the inside out. It’s odd for him to use soldiers openly.”
“Maybe not so odd,” the stranger replies, “do you not know he’s made a successful bid against UR? They say he’s captured both the King and the princess. UR’s is as good as his when he marries her. “
“Yes, The King of UR’s greatest weakness is his daughter.”
“To legitimize UR as his, the marriage would have to be a large, royal public affair. So I wonder, why are his soldiers seeking this other girl in Oxted — maybe he likes blondes dressed in white?”
Instinctively, Glynn’s hand finds his weapon. The red-haired stranger reacts in equal measure, by pulling a knife of his own. Glynn rests his hand. “Calm down, friend. The fight is not with you,” Glynn replies gravely, “it’s that just today I brought a girl — a comely blonde — to Oxted. Her sole wish was to go to the old temple on that mountain. She made it seem like it was her destiny.”
Glynn’s eyes widen as he recalls the prophecy he had recently recited to Jasmine, “…in the shrine where the white rocks rise, this is where your destiny lies…” He quickly drains the rest of his drink and gets up to leave.
“I must go!” Glynn mumbles, making his way to the door. Even if she wan’t the one they were looking for, she would surely be snatched up as a possibility. Glynn hopes Jasmine’s progress up the mountain has been slow and cumbersome. Maybe they have not yet found her, but if they have…
“Wait,” the stranger follows, saying “There were seven soldiers. And I can help you even the odds… and by the way, my name is Rogan.”
© 2018 DARLENE